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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: January 25, 2022

The Ontario government has launched Skilled Trades Ontario, a new Crown agency, to improve trades training and simplify services.

In this edition:

Skilled Trades Ontario launched
New Rural Economic Development program intake
Nominations open for Chair’s Impact Awards
Women majority of paid care workers, earn less
Brock ranks first for corporate research income growth
Niagara College staff win Ministerial Awards of Excellence

Government launches Skilled Trades Ontario

The Ontario government has launched Skilled Trades Ontario, a new Crown agency, to improve trades training and simplify services. The new agency will aim to promote and market the trades, develop the latest training and curriculum standards, and provide a streamlined user-friendly experience for tradespeople.

The skilled labour shortage in Ontario is estimated to reach 350,000 by 2025, by which time 20% Ontario jobs will be in one of the 144 recognized trades. In 2016, nearly one in three journeypersons in Ontario were aged 55 years or older, and the current average age of an apprentice is 29. Under the Ontario College of Trades, apprentice registrations fell by over 17,000, or 40%.

The new agency aims to streamline and simplify the process by which people can enter the trades.

The new online services will provide an online one-stop-shop for scheduling classes and exams, submitting forms, paying fees and more. Processing and registration times for applicants should be reduced from 60 days to 12.

An independent Board of Directors will lead the agency in delivering on the government’s Skilled Trades Strategy to break the stigma surrounding the trades, simplify the system, and encourage employers to hire more apprentices. The incoming Board of Directors includes representatives from law, trade unions, post-secondary education, contractors, and others.

Click here for more information.

New intake for Rural Economic Development program announced

The Ontario government is launching a new intake of the Rural Economic Development (RED) program on February 7, 2022. This funding will support initiatives that address barriers to economic development and position rural communities for economic growth and job creation, such as:

  • Marketing and outreach campaigns to grow rural Ontario’s workforce.
  • Connecting youth and apprentices to job opportunities and placements.
  • Creating dedicated spaces such as innovation hubs and youth centres to develop partnerships and foster innovation.

Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, also announced up to $3,847,999 in funding for 61 projects that have been selected through the previous RED intake. Funding from this intake is being used to help diversify local economies, retain skilled workers, and attract opportunities, workers, and investment to rural communities.

Click here for more information.

Nominations open for 2022 Regional Chair’s Niagara Impact Awards

The Niagara Impact Awards showcase those who offer a helping hand in order to make living in Niagara better for others. Last year, winners represented a diverse group of residents who contributed in various ways to help their neighbours, local businesses, and the larger community. Award recipients made a meaningful impact on Niagara’s social economic wellbeing as well as the overall health of the region.

Residents are encouraged to go online to nominate individuals, businesses, and non-profit organizations who have shown community spirit while demonstrating the value of volunteerism.

Click here for more information.

Women make up majority of paid care workers but earn significantly less

In 2016, there were 3.2 million persons employed in paid care occupations, making up nearly one-fifth (19%) of the total employed population in Canada. Women represented the majority of paid care workers in Canada, according to a Statistics Canada study, accounting for three-quarters (75%) in 2016. As a result, most care occupations were either female-dominated or had a high proportion of women.

Reflecting gender differences in educational profiles, there are also differences in the types of positions held by men and women within care occupations.

For example, in health-related occupations, women (29%) were more likely than men (11%) to hold professional occupations in nursing, such as registered nurses, registered psychiatric nurses and nursing co-ordinators and supervisors.

In contrast, men (45%) were more likely than women (16%) to be found in professional occupations in health (except nursing), such as general practitioners and family physicians, specialist physicians and dentists.

Differences in educational profiles and in the types of occupations held by women and men were also reflected in gender differences in employment income. In 2015, the employment income of women in care occupations ($59,300) was lower, on average, than that of men ($73,400).

Click here for more information.

Brock ranks first for corporate research income growth

A national company that tracks Canada’s research and development performance has ranked Brock University first place out of 21 universities in its category for corporate research income growth.

Brock’s research income totalled more than $15.5 million in 2020, according to the Canada’s Top 50 Research Universities 2021 report.

Corporate research income, or sponsored research, comes from a variety of sources. Agencies such as Mitacs, FedDev and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council’s (NSERC) Alliance Grants program leverage funding to Brock obtained from the private sector.

Click here for more information.

Niagara College staff win Ministerial Awards of Excellence

Niagara College staff members have won two Awards of Excellence from the Minister of Colleges and Universities. A team from the College’s Research & Innovation division was presented with an award in the Everyday Heroes category, for making a difference during the pandemic and the 2020-2021 academic year, while College Brewmaster Jon Downing was honoured with an Innovation and Entrepreneurship award for working with industry and business to drive economic development.

Niagara College’s two awards were among 30 selected for the second annual Minister’s Awards of Excellence, out of approximately 675 nominations received.

Click here for more information.

Reading Recommendations

Wednesday’s double-barrelled attack on inflation may fall short as markets gyrate

CBC News

While Canadians wait to see whether interest rates really will begin to rise tomorrow, it might be reasonable to ask what all the fuss is about.

As a friend commented last week, when we were discussing the double-barrelled pronouncements on inflation and interest rates from both Ottawa and Washington coming Wednesday, a quarter-point increase on interest rates doesn’t really seem like much of a difference.

But after markets were taken on a wild ride Monday, coming after what had already been the worst week in more than a year, you have to ask yourself why traders seem so nervous.

Bank of Canada will hike 100bps over 12 months: David Dodge

BNN Bloomberg

A former head of the Bank of Canada said he thinks inflation will gradually come down from multi-decade highs and expects to see the central bank’s main policy rate rise by a full percentage point at minimum.

“I don’t know (what the bank will do Wednesday), but what I do know is that over the next period, over the next year, those rates are probably going to go up at least 100 basis points,” David Dodge said in an interview.

As of Tuesday morning, Bloomberg data indicated investors see a 75 per cent probability that the central bank will raise its main policy rate by a quarter point on Wednesday to 0.5 per cent. That would be the first increase since 2018, and would happen after Statistics Canada’s most recent consumer price index showed inflation surged 4.8 per cent year-over-year in December, which was the fastest rate since September of 1991.

Dodge said he expects annualized inflation will “come down considerably” to around 2.5 or 2.75 per cent by the end of this year.

Niagara COVID-19 statistics tracker

Niagara COVID vaccination tracker

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Through the Daily Updates, the GNCC aims to deliver important business news in a timely manner. We disseminate all news and information we feel will be important to businesses. Inclusion in the Daily Update is not an endorsement by the GNCC.

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